Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Looks at Top Strategies for Hotel Marketing and Operations

Aug 16, 2010

Contact:  Jennifer Macera, 607.255.3101, 

"Let's bring in business": Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Looks at Top Strategies for Hotel Marketing and Operations

As economic prospects brighten, hospitality operators are focusing on tactics and strategies to attract customers, improve rates, and strengthen hotel operations

Ithaca, NY, August 16, 2010 – Presenters at the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit  (CHRS) will focus on business-boosting strategies all along the line. The CHRS is scheduled for October 6-8, 2010, on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. Registration is now open at The CHRS sessions will cover distribution issues (particularly with online travel agents), how to use brands to build value, and how to make the most of revenue management and maintain your operation's best possible price positioning.

To find out the key issues and opportunities in leisure travel distribution, it makes sense to go to the sources. Kurt Ekert, chief commercial officer, GTA by Travelport, will present trends, challenges, and opportunities in leisure travel distribution, based on Travelport's position as a global distribution system (GDS) provider and a travel purveyor through Gulliver's Travel Associates. An important aspect of distribution is working with online travel agents (OTAs), as explained by Tim Gordon, senior vice president, Priceline, and Jay Hubbs, director, partner services, Hotwire.

Five sessions will cover the essential points of building a hotel marketing strategy and managing a brand. Cornell Professor Chekitan Dev, Ph.D., will present the key elements of brand management, based on twenty years of research. Bruce Hyatt, VP, Marketing & Strategy, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, will explain the key aspects of building an online brand. Cornell Associate Professor Robert Kwortnik, Ph.D., will present his step-by-step framework for building and strengthening a brand, which begins with determining your customers' motivations and includes creating a data-based brand promise. In a session on using social media to strengthen a brand, Kelly McGuire, Ph.D., director, business development for hospitality and travel, of SAS, will join Ravi Mehrotra, president and chief scientist, IDeaS (a SAS company), to explain how to analyze hotel rates based on guests' willingness to pay, and how to make quantitative use of comments found in social media.

The importance of integrating revenue management in all aspects of hospitality operation is underlined in a study presented by Cornell Professor Sheryl Kimes, Ph.D. Based on a survey of hundreds of operators, she has developed management strategies for using revenue management as strategy in all aspects of a hotel's operation. Along the same lines, David Roberts, senior vice president of global revenue management, Marriott International, will outline the issues involved in revenue management worldwide. With a different focus on financial performance, Renata Kosova, Ph.D, assistant professor of strategy at the School of Hotel Administration, has compared the financial impact of franchising vs. company ownership for a large hotel chain, with unexpected results.

Two other ways to get ahead of competitors is to be a continual innovator, as explained in a presentation by Cornell Professor Cathy Enz, Ph.D., and to instill trust in your workers, as discussed by Rick Garlick, senior director of consulting and strategic implementation, Maritz Hospitality Research Group. Enz has participated in an extensive study of service innovators in all areas of the hospitality industry, while Garlick seeks to counteract the drop in trust in the hospitality workplace.

Performance trends in the hotel industry will be the focus of two presentations, one by Mark Lomanno, president of STR, and another by Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research. In addition, Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge group, National Restaurant Association, will examine trends in the restaurant industry, and Cornell Professor Gary Thompson, Ph.D., will explain his research on restaurant profitability management.

In addition to these presentations on strengthening revenues and hotel operations, the CHRS will offer several breakouts on social media, sustainability, and customer loyalty and market analytics. Five Keynote Speakers will highlight the CHRS proceedings. They are Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Maritz Travel Company; Professor Frances Frei, Harvard Business School; Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International; Gerald Lawless, executive chairman, Jumeirah Group; and Randell Smith, CEO and co-founder of STR.

Early registration for the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit continues through August 30 at

Event sponsors are: Avaya, Charley's Grilled Subs, Hotel Business, HOTELMARKETING.COM,, and Hsyndicate. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jennifer Macera,, for more information.

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the CHR's 81 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit
Center Senior Partners: Hilton Worldwide, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

Center Partners: Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., FX Real Estate and Entertainment, Inc., HVS, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, SAS, Schneider Electric, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, and WATG

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